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2020 Virtual Postbac Poster Day

Postbac Poster Day is going virtual!


The 2020 Postbac Poster Day Awards for 2020 have been announced!

Congratulations to the recipients! Posters were judged by teams of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, and staff scientists/staff clinicians. These individuals are recognized for having authored posters that scored in the top 20% of all posters presented.


The complete program for Postbac Poster Day 2020 is available!
An abbreviated version of the program containing the daily agendas and presenter index can be found here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will find an attachment containing the WebEx Event links for Virtual Postbac Poster Day in the invitation email you received on 4-23.

We have been forced to cancel the face-to-face 2020 Postbac Poster Day due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, we are scheduling virtual Poster Days from April 28th through April 30th. Be certain to register for Poster Day before the deadline (March 31st, 2020; 5:00 EDT) and watch for further information! The virus outbreak has led to the cancellation of many important events for the NIH community. We invite you to help us make sure this event, rather than being cancelled, is the best Postbac Poster Day ever!

Postbac Poster Day is your opportunity to share the research you have been conducting at the NIH and at the same time develop your communication and networking skills.  We encourage all current NIH Postbacs to present at this virtual event.  At the poster session, in a normal year, you would be able to share background information on your project, present any data you may have collected, and discuss the technical problems you encountered as well as any results. However, given the current situation, we understand that many of you will be unable to share a full story. We know you might have limited access to your lab, data, colleagues, and in some cases, your NIH computer and email account. Some of you might just have started a new position and might not have any data or even a clear understanding of your project yet. It may seem as if all you have is time and internet.  So, use this time to be scientifically creative.  We welcome all kinds of posters! Present a literature review or a completely new proposal! Please discuss your idea with your supervisor or PI.

Please remember that publishing data anywhere has intellectual property implications. If you want to include data that might result in patentable ideas (or if you are uncertain) be sure you have the permission of your PI to share everything in your poster. In fact, regardless of what you want to present, get your PI’s permission before you submit.

In order to participate in Virtual Postbac Poster Day 2020, you should take the following actions:

  1. Register for Poster Day 2020 (initial registration): (deadline: March 31, 2020). If you have trouble logging in or don’t have an access to your NIH email account, please contact me at
  2. You will receive an email containing your poster session, poster number, and the names of other postbacs in your group. Expect for it to arrive by April 10, 2020.
  3. Please begin preparing your poster now. You will upload your poster (or share your screen) just before your poster session begins. (You will NOT submit your poster in advance.)
  4. Connect with the other members in your group virtually and practice your presentation before the event.
  5. Present your poster online to your group and several judges. Each virtual session will be about an hour long. 

Poster Judging

Posters will be reviewed by teams composed of graduate students, postdocs, and other NIH scientific staff using a list of standard review criteria. The top 20% will receive a letter acknowledging their work.  NOTE: if a poster has more than one presenter, the first author will be responsible for presenting the poster and will be eligible to win an award.

Note: The Postbac Distinguished Mentor Awards for 2020 will be announced on the OITE webpage after April 28th.

Creating Your Virtual Poster

To promote scientific discussion and interaction, we recommend that participants hold a virtual meeting and present their posters to each other before the actual virtual poster session.

Virtual Poster Technical Requirements:

  • Poster Size: 48” (Width) and 36” (Height)
  • Poster Orientation: Landscape
  • Recommended Font Size:

    • Title: 80 pt
    • Section Headings: 54 pt
    • Secondary Section Headings or Figure Title: 44 pt
    • General Text: 36 – 40 pt
    • Figure/table legends: 28 pt
  • There is no limit to the size of the file

Virtual Poster Requirements: Content and Design


Include the following components in your poster presentation:

  • Title and Author Information:
    • Title
    • Author, Affiliation
    • Institute or Center name, logos
  • Content:
    • an introduction (providing background information),
    • a brief statement of the purpose of the project,
    • a description of materials and methods used, and
    • a summary of results and conclusions.

Begin to write and proof-read your poster several weeks in advance. You should develop and practice a short (3 to 5 minute) verbal description of the work \ that you can present to colleagues who “visit” your poster.

For further suggestions, on developing your poster, attend the virtual 2020 Workshop entitled "Creating and Presenting Dynamic Posters".  If you are not able to attend, please watch the videocast of an earlier workshop.

Here are some other general guidelines for laying out your poster:

  • A light background with dark text is easiest to read.
  • Use one font and style to integrate all portions of your poster.
  • Make sure the poster can be read from at least 4 - 6 feet away.
  • Label graphics directly and use tables for small data sets.
  • Keep your title simple and use it to state the conclusion or focus of your study.
  • Figures, diagrams, and bullet points are better than paragraphs of text.
  • A general rule of thumb is to allow 40% of your space for graphics, 20% for text, and 40% for white space.